Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The missing link in interoperability

18.12.2007
Local and regional authorities often use incompatible databases and IT systems, so struggle to offer effective e-government services. The EU-funded TERREGOV project offers an affordable technology platform that enables vital interoperability.
Pilot trials show that the resulting e-services can reduce bureaucracy, identify fraud and deliver optimised services to citizens.

A few years ago Norbert Benamou, Director of Business Flow Consulting, was working for a large municipal authority in the south of France. He was astounded to discover how so little of the authority's work was conducted electronically.

“We found that people had difficulties referring citizens for appropriate social care simply because of the lack of electronic communication between departments and agencies. What's more, the databases in the different agencies were incompatible, so any attempt at developing e-services quickly led to disappointment. At best you could make requests electronically, but the requests then had to be processed manually.”

Encouraging interoperability
This experience encouraged Benamou to form the now EU-funded TERREGOV project to develop an IT solution that could be deployed at a regional level, allowing any authority within the region to “plug in” their applications and databases, link them up and provide valuable e-services to citizens.

“Many local authorities in Europe are extremely small and do not have the resources to develop complex solutions for e-services,” Benamou explains. “The TERREGOV platform makes it very simple. A local authority simply registers their specific applications on the system as a web service and TERREGOV more or less takes care of what information is transferred to the regional TERREGOV hub and who can access it.”

The bulk of the implementation falls to the larger regional authority, which has to customise and host the TERREGOV hub, select which e-services to develop and encourage the local authorities to change their working practices and “go electronic”.

The benefits of interoperable systems can be significant. At the regional level, TERREGOV helps public services to be delivered consistently by all local authorities, irrespective of their size, so there is no “postcode discrimination” for citizens. Local authorities, on the other hand, can use TERREGOV to deliver e-services at minimal cost without have to discard familiar, legacy systems.

Speedy service
But the biggest winner is the citizen who benefits from shorter processing times – in one TERREGOV trial, applications for unemployment benefits were processed in a few days instead of one month – and more “joined up” thinking. Instead of having to request a particular service, citizens can simply highlight a problem, and let the various public bodies collaborate to provide a solution.

An ongoing pilot of the TERREGOV platform in Regione del Veneto, for instance, is helping agencies to provide and coordinate social care tailored to each individual – interoperability produces a more detailed profile of each individual's needs.

In the Polish town of Czestochowa, the TERREGOV platform links databases in the local registry office, the district labour office and the city's social aid centre. Electronic access to these departments and census information will help the city practically to eliminate benefit fraud. Clerks can check for duplicate applications in the system even while the applicant is still sitting in the office.

Benamou believes that the economic benefits and improvements in efficiency that TERREGOV offers should encourage regional authorities to consider its deployment.

“The technologies available at present to achieve this level of regional integration vary from between €1 million and €10 million. The cost of TERREGOV implementation is more in the €100,000s. Interoperability is something that regional and local authorities can now afford, and ill-afford to ignore!”

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89054

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

nachricht Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation
18.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>